There seems to be a misunderstanding among some federal workers regarding eligibility for buyouts if those incentives are being offered in their agencies–specifically, a view that all employees will be automatically eligible.

However, this is not the case. Buyout offers can be tailored by organizational unit; occupational series or grade(s); geographic area(s); skill, knowledge, or other factors related to a position; or any combination.

Further, even employees who meet those criteria might be ineligible for other reasons. Employees are ineligible if they: are serving in an appointment with a time limit; have not been continuously employed in the executive branch for at least three years; are reemployed annuitants; have a disability such that they are or would be eligible for disability retirement; have received a decision notice of involuntary separation for misconduct or poor performance; previously received a buyout from the federal government; performed service over the prior three years for which a student loan repayment benefit was paid, or is to be paid; performed service over the prior two years for which a recruitment or relocation incentive was paid, or is to be paid; or performed service over the prior one year for which a retention incentive was paid, or is to be paid.